If you’ve been on the hack for a long time, you’ve probably seen a few hacks where someone created simple animations or even video games on an analog oscilloscope screen. These hacks typically use vector graphics, where the electrons of the cathode ray tube draw geometric shapes directly on the screen. This gives the image a unique look that is quite different from the pixel-based raster displays used on TVs and most computer monitors.
Vector displays were also used on various arcade machines in the early 1980’s, including the classic Tempest, Graviter And Star wars. To emulate these games more faithfully than raster monitors, [Robin Champion] Vstcm: A color vector monitor controller designed to easily run RGB vector monitors.
Designed based on [Trammell Hudson] And [Adelle Lin]Its v.st system, and therefore features a Tinsy microcontroller as well as several digital-to-analog converters. Although v.st can only connect to monochromatic X / Y systems like an oscilloscope, vstcm can work with RGB monitors to allow near-perfect simulation of color vector-based games. A custom software interface integrates vstcm with AdvanceMAME, a special version of the well-known arcade emulator that allows connections to unusual display systems.
The end result clearly shows the part, though [Robin] Note that performance is not at that level and requests acquaintances with the Tinsi platform to help optimize the code. If you want to create vstcm but can’t find a vector monitor, you can always change the yoke of a conventional CRT. Want to know more about vector display? See this thorough introduction.